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  • Jul 08 / 2013
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Home Improvement, Smith Home Security Blog

Is Your Home Hurricane-Proof? – 5 Tips To Protect Your Home

The news is filled with reports concerning hurricane-affected areas and the aftermath of such calamity. In the past, it may be unlikely to hear about hurricane reports one after another, but today, it has become a part of life. With that said, it is smart to take necessary precautions to hurricane-proof your home.

As another storm comes your way, preparing your house for the worst possible events may be the best decision you will ever make. Thankfully, there is a wide variety of available technologies, from hurricane-proof concrete to reinforcements for doors and foundations. Renovating your home and adding hurricane-proof features will help mitigate the potential consequences of these storms. Here are some tips for protecting your home from this calamity.

Protect Your Doors And Windows

The first thing you can do to protect your home from strong winds and heavy rain is to reinforce your windows and doors. You can install impact-resistant glass or shutters which is very effective against high winds. It is also very durable and resistant to flying debris. Durable and resilient materials must be used since hurricane-force winds can hurl debris and objects towards your home.

As an added tip, you can consider installing shutters. If you do not want to make shutters a permanent feature of your home, you can install a track instead which allows for easy installation of shutters when there is an approaching storm. To get the best storm shutter protection, choose products that are approved by the Miami-Dade building code. This is the highest standard that any storm shutter can carry.

Fortify Your Garage

According to the executive director of the National Storm Shelter Association, the garage doors are considered as the weakest link in any property. In fact, about 80% of hurricane damage in a residential home starts with wind entry through the garage door. With that said, once you lose your garage door to a storm, you can consider your home lost as well because the high-speed winds can pressurize the residential building and blow the roof off.

A lot of garage doors are made with lightweight materials which are very affordable; unfortunately, these types of doors are also very vulnerable to high winds. As a tip, you must purchase a garage door with a sticker that provides you with a pressure rating. If you don’t find a sticker, there is a huge chance that you will need to reinforce your doors during a storm.

Consumer Reports also suggest homeowners to purchase garage doors with no windows, and those that are less than 9ft wide. It is also advisable to look for a door that is rated to withstand about 50 pounds of pressure per square foot. In addition, it is also prudent to choose a single door since it has a better chance of surviving strong winds than a double door.

Secure Your Roof

When a hurricane comes your way, the wind may feel like it will rip the roof off your house. The combination of pressurized wind can detach a roof which is not properly secured. If this happens, the walls are left without any support; thus, it will become unsteady. The walls will then collapse outward. But you can prevent this from happening. All you need to do is to secure your roof with some glue to increase its resistance to strong winds.

As a tip, you can use a premium flooring adhesive to secure your roof. You can use a caulking gun and then place a small amount of adhesive to the underside of your roof where it connects with the beams. Make sure to use adhesive that has been thoroughly tested and has a strong rating.

Allow Proper Flow Of Water

Another precaution is to keep your gutters and downspouts clean. Make sure that nothing will block the flowing water in case of a hurricane. This is very important because it allows the water to properly flow during a storm. You have to understand that the water needs to go somewhere. If it is unable to go down and away from your house, your roof and attic will suffer the consequences.

Clean Your Landscape

Lastly, clean your landscape and make sure that there are no fallen debris, branches of trees, and other items that might damage your home. Remember to get rid of any dead branches before the storm hits your area. It is also smart to secure or remove any furniture in your patio or other lose items outdoors since these items and fixtures might get blown around during the storm, causing damages and injuries.

Kaitlin.”tree on house”. October 30, 2012. Online Image. Flickr. June 10, 2013

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License: Creative Commons image source

  • Jul 01 / 2013
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Home Improvement, Smith Home Security Blog

‘Green’ Roofs For Warmer Climates

There was a time when roofs were green—literally covered with grasses for grazing animals.  The term, “green roof” however; has taken on a meaning that those hearty individuals of 100+ years ago would never have been able to imagine.

The term “cool roof” is a go-green term that refers to a roof having been designed to maintain a lower surface temperature in bright sunshine than that of a traditional roof.   The Department of Energy Building Technology Program states that “cool roof” qualifications are determined by the roofing materials’ abilities to reflect the sun and release absorbed energy.  The higher the rating of these two factors determines the “coolness” of the roof.

Let’s take a look at some roofing options that put “green” into the roofing equation.

Clay Tiles:

Clay tiles are not only beautiful and quaint in terms of aesthetics, they are a popular choice in hot climates due to their curved shape which lends itself, perfectly, to excellent ventilation.  Not only will tile outlive most home-owners (clay tile will last up to 100 years), their heaviness keeps more cool air inside on sweltering days.

Single-Ply Thermoset:

Single-Ply Thermoset roofs incorporate a roof membrane created from oil and natural gas.  This membrane is cured and bonded to roofing materials.  These roofs boast of exceptional sealant and insulation properties keeping the homes and buildings they cover cooler and more temperature- consistent.

Unlike roofs that are constructed and sealed at the construction site, single-ply thermoset roofs are factory-constructed and sealed; and when the membranes are manufactured as white, a cooler roof results due to heat being reflected instead of absorbed.

Shingles or Shakes:

In and of themselves, shingles and shakes do not offer cooling properties and they remain the least cool of cool-roofing options; but there is a happy ending.  Contractors like Waters Custom Roofing can treat shingles and shakes with reflective pigments to help make them a greener option.  This doesn’t solve all the issues since the mere surface of this type of eye-catching covering has a rough, bumpy surface which is prone to reflecting less light, not more.

Roof Pavers:

Roof pavers are the same as paving tiles, yet designed for a roof.  Depending on the variety, their more-than-two-inch thickness can reflect a minimum of 78% of ultraviolet light.   One drawback would be the weightiness of this material, coming in at 23 pounds per square foot.  However, for buildings designed to carry that load, the insulating benefits can be impressive.


“Metal?” you might ask.  This isn’t just your “cat on a hot tin roof” kind of metal.  This metal is coated and painted a lighter color with added light-reflecting pigments that provide for a “cool” roof that can even be installed over an existing roof.

Applied Coating:

Have a sturdy roof that just isn’t “cool”?  There is a coating that can be applied to just about any existing roof; and it’s versatile in that it can be applied on-site.  The material contains special pigments that reflect 72% of incoming infrared light which makes up half of the solar energy that hits planet Earth.

The first real line of defense against the heat is a building’s roof and a competent roofing company.  Releasing the sun’s rays is the goal, not storing and absorbing it.  Theoretically speaking, according to the Unites States Department of Energy, if all roofs and roads were light-colored, the costs of running air conditioners in the U.S. would be reduced by 15%.  In reality, since that will never happen, by knowing what’s “cool” in roofing products, we can control the heat instead of the heat controlling us.

  • Jun 24 / 2013
  • 0
Home Improvement, Smith Home Security Blog

Why The Smart Money Is On Metal Roofing!

When building a new home or replacing an existing roof you will be considering what kind of roof to install. There are plenty of choices but one you might not have considered is a metal roof. There are plenty of reasons why it’s a good choice and it’s no coincidence that the popularity of this style of roofing is on the increase. We’ll tell you a little more about it here:


Metal roofs are built to last and may never ever need replacing! Other materials can decay over time and incur large maintenance bills, but once a metal roof is on your house you can stop worrying about it altogether. They are expected to last at least 50 years which is significantly more than any other type of roofing. These kinds of roofs are really resistant to weather and won’t leak – water just drains off them. Heavy snow just slides off and high winds won’t get to them either. So they are suitable for every sort of climate.

They are also highly economical, being extremely energy efficient and low on maintenance bills. In addition to that they are very environmentally friendly – imagine how many tiles finish up in landfills after they have served their purpose. Because metal roofing has a much longer lifespan it reduces a lot of waste, freeing up lots of much-needed space in the landfill sites.

The value of your home may be significantly increased by fitting a metal roof as it is a very attractive prospect to buyers. The fact that they may never face any bills connected with the roof during the time of them living there is extremely tempting – most people know only too well the cost of repairs to roofs. The roof is one of the biggest things that people take into account when choosing a new house.

And the Concerns?

Of course there are some things that cause people to worry about metal roofs too. The main one is the initial cost – it certainly costs more to install than other forms of roofing. When you spread that cost over the years of its life it becomes a lot more cost-effective but the initial outlay can still put people off.

The other main worry is that it won’t be in keeping with the rest of the house. The words ‘metal roof’ conjure up images of bleak industrial units! However the truth is that metal roofs come in many forms and you can choose your colour and style. Some metal roofs are made to look like tiles or shingles so they can actually look quite attractive.

If you are tempted by a metal roof then the best thing to do is to go and have a look at some other houses that already have one fitted. Do lots of research online and see what people are saying in the forums. It can be a really great choice for your house and once it’s fitted you’ll enjoy not ever having to worry about repairing or replacing your roof again – it’s a huge weight off your mind!

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License: Creative Commons image source

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